For those of you who play in competitive leagues, where recommendations to add players 40-60% owned just doesn’t cut it; this weekly article highlights 10 players who are more likely to be available in your league. The parameters are simple: any player owned in less than 10% of Fantrax leagues and has a stock trending up. I’ll try to get a mix of different positions and mix pitchers and hitters, but understand that we are digging a little deeper with this list and we’ll take the value where we can find it.
Martin Prado (MIA-3B) - 7% owned
Prado hasn’t been doing much of note, but a leadoff hitter for any team deserves a higher ownership rate than 7%, especially at a non-OF position. Prado has hit out of the leadoff spot in the last 8 straight games for the Marlins so if I need any sort of corner infield depth this is a great spot where quantity beats quality.
Max Muncy (LAD-3B/OF) - 10% owned
Muncy has been on fire for the Dodgers, so much so that he has moved himself all the way up to the occasional leadoff hitter. The underlying peripherals are encouraging for Muncy so I expect him to keep this up at least a little while longer. The dual position eligibility is just a kicker and makes Muncy a must-add in weekly waiver formats. Full disclosure - I added Muncy last week in TGFBI so I’m invested in his success.
Gorkys Hernandez (SF - OF) - 3% owned
This is just the week for leadoff hitters, huh? Hernandez has been splitting leadoff duties with Gregor Blanco and is more than holding his own. The sneaky value with Hernandez is that he still plays when he’s not leading off, so you can at least be sure you’re getting some sort of production from him regardless of the opposing matchup.
Daniel Palka (CWS - OF) - 7% owned
I keep waiting for Palka to fade, but he continues to produce. His xwOBA has remained steady for the past few weeks, and I’m willing to buy in. The White Sox have little else to replace his productive bat, so the opportunity is there. His .860 OPS this season looks fairly sustainable and that type of pop is difficult to find at this point in the season.
Guillermo Heredia (SEA - OF) - 6% owned
With the Dee Gordon injury, Heredia has moved up to the #2 hole in the lineup...and that’s the only reason he’s on this list. He’s slashing an impressive .299/.442/.478 so far this season, but I don’t expect that number to continue looking at his underlying peripherals. He’s a short-term add only if you need some spot starts in the outfield.
Johnny Field (TB - 2B/OF) - 9% owned
Aside from sounding like a made-up name from MVP Baseball (shout out Jon Dowd), Johnny Field has put up excellent numbers in his debut season. The 26-year-old is slashing .296/.333/.521 this year and his batted ball profile suggests this isn’t far off the expected outcome. I’m going to be taking a flier on Field in TGFBI in this week’s round of FAAB bids - he’s a nice fill-in for the struggling Ian Kinsler.
Wei-Yin Chen (MIA - P) - 8% owned
The strikeouts are missing, but Wei-Yin Chen has put up some decent numbers of late. Since his 9 run debacle against the Cubs, Chen sports a 1.86 ERA in his last two starts against the Dodgers and the Braves. I don’t have faith in the long-term success, but he’s a decent stream candidate at home against the Nationals this weekend.
John Gant (STL - P) - 4% owned
The clock may be ticking on Gant’s time in the rotation with Alex Reyes dealing since his return from TJS, but Gant offers legit strikeout upside and is a solid streamer candidate in deep leagues. He faces off against Pittsburgh tonight, and a solid start could earn him a few more spins in the rotation.
Christian Bergman (SEA - P) - 1% owned
We’re running low on names, and I was very impressed with Bergman’s start against Texas that I wanted to include him here. He’s been optioned back to the minors, but after his 7 inning, 2 hit, 5 strikeout performance it won’t be long until he gets another start. Wade LeBlanc isn’t going to hold off Bergman for long with a Seattle team that is in the thick of a playoff spot in the competitive AL West. Take a flier here while his stock his down because another chance is coming soon.
Blaine Hardy (DET - P) - 2% owned
The lefty has been just about solid in his two turns through the rotation against quality offenses in Seattle and Minnesota. His xwOBA in the last 20 days is only .254 and this due to allowing a lot of weak contact (only 33% of batted balls were 95+ mph). Jordan Zimmermann projects to return from the DL soon, but ride Hardy out and roll the dice on him sticking in the rotation - he figures to be in a great spot this Sunday against the White Sox.